Thursday, April 27, 2006

It's All Fun And Games News

Those Champions League Semifinals! The second & deciding leg matches:
-Villarreal 0-0 Arsenal (0-1) - A flippin dullards delight of a game gives The Arse the 1-0 win on aggregate.
-Barcelona 0-0 Milan (1-0) - Another match with no goals scored gives Barca the win 1-0 on agg.
-And now we know that The Grande Finale will feature Arsenal FC of London England v FC Barcelona of Spain on May 17 at le Stade de France in Paris.
-Peter Berlin of the International Herald Tribune on the two teams who will face off for the 2006 title: Wildly different routes to the final
Arsenal's Thierry Henry was awarded Player of the Year for a record third time by the English Football Writers' Association. Deserved.
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Big news outta England - Luiz Felipe Scolari, that's Big Phil to you and me, has been offered the England manager's job. I think this is a very good move on their part. I never felt like the guys who they kept talking about (McClaren, Curbishley, O'Neill, Allardyce, Pearce etc) were world class managers. In case you were wondering, Big Phil is currently Portugal's coach and in 02 he took Brazil to the title.
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Lance shoots out the one-liners:
-Scolari?!? Sure he was great in Bosom Buddies and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, but is he really the right man for the England job?
-My theory is that this (Arsenal's potential victory of the Champions League crown) is a very complex scheme to screw over Tottenham. Arsenal realized early they weren't going to catch Chelsea so they played poorly enough to finish behind Tottenham. Then when the Hotspur fans get excited about going to Europe, Arsenal snatches it away by winning the Champions League. Pure genius.
-Can't say I think much of England's World Cup song (Embrace? Who they?) (editors note: sounds like the Coldplay guy fronting a Morrissey cover band.)
-But you gotta love the BBC World cup theme music. (editors note: excellent in a goofy-pompous British way.)
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Yanks Abroad with a few words on former Metrostars midfielder Michael Bradley's late season success in Holland with Heerenveen. He played little when he first got there, but grew more and more into the team, and now that the Eredivise playoffs are here he has become a full time starter! Fantastic for him. His team won last night 1-0 over Roda to advance to the final in search of a UEFA Cup spot for next year. They take on FC Twente on the road Sunday and at home next Wednesday. Good luck Michael!
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Steven Goff from the Washington Post digs up pirate treasure again this year and finds the list of all MLS player salaries. Sure it's fun to look at the highest paid, but to me the real measure of the league is the lowest paid, and they are still embarrassingly to low. In case you are wondering where Goff get's this stuff and if it's legit, the rumor has always been that the players union leaks it so the majority of their members get some sympathy with the public next time they have to negotiate a new contract.
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I don't have the time to really dig into this, but I would love to see Manchester City's record with Claudio Reyna in the line up. I know that the team had a miserable late winter/early spring run and Reyna misses most of those matches. But he has been back for 3 straight now, and they are all victories. I think he is one of the most amazing players in this "category". You never really seem to see any big huge moments of flash and glory, but damn do his teams seem to win a lot.
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Don't forget to tune in: See the boss-man Bruce Arena on ESPN Sports Center Monday May 2 at 5pm central time announcing his USA World Cup squad!
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Seriously, please note that my birthday is coming up on May 3 and I would love one of these in the XXL variety!
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Kristian Dyer at Soccernet is calling for Il Bruce` to include Fat Tony in his World Cup squad as the third keeper over Hahnemann or Howard. For some bizarre reason I kinda agree as far as talent, but I think Arena wants great teammates too and Meola has shown himself to be quite selfish at times. He will not get the call. But I suppose he could be named as an alternate.
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On Tuesday during a press conference in Boston, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said that another "major Spanish side" (besides the already scheduled Barcelona) will be coming to the USA later this summer to play pre-season matches. We could know the identity of that team next week.
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The USA U17 team have advanced to the final of the annual Ballymena Tournament in Northern Ireland for the 4th consecutive year, yet are still looking for their first title. The will play the Czech Republic on Friday for this one. The USA beat the host nation 2-0 despite losing a player to a red card in the FIRST minute of the match. The USA finished the group stage with 2 wins over the aforementioned Northern Ireland & Switzerland and a draw with Finland. The Czechs go into the championship match with 3 wins over Belgium, Canada & Scotland.
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Defender Chris Leitch has joined the list of new players this week in Columbus. He played last year for New York, but was without a contract and had not been picked up by any other teams. Columbus Dispatch with more words on the topic at hand.
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San Diego Union Tribune quality soccer writer Mark Zeigler with his weekly column plus his Red Cards, Trophies & Sidelines.
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The Salt Lake Tribune says that young Jamaican striker Ryan Johnson will get his shot to start for RSL v LA this weekend. He played for Jamaica v the USA earlier this month.
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Glenn Davis of the Houston Chronicle writes about one of my favorite MLS defenders, Houston's too often injured Eddie Robinson. This guy and Danny Califf were awesome together last year in San Jose. I predict he will make the leagues Best 11 come season end, and vie for the Defender of the Year award.
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Larry Morgan of the LA Daily News says that Herculez Gomez is not happy being on the LA Galaxy bench. Well, I have a few words for Herc: SHUT UP AND PLAY THE DAMN GAME PUNK. I predicted that last year was a fluke, and he would not have nearly as good a run in 06. We shall see who is right, me or the guy with the cool name.
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NYNJ Soccer has a Q & A with the latest New York Red Bulls Managing Director, Marc De Grandpre.
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Stolen directly from New England Soccer News: The Revolution have confirmed the arrival of Eusebio da Silva Ferreira as a guest for the game against Los Angeles at Gillette Stadium May 6. Eusebio, who performed for the Boston Minutemen in 1975 after starring for SL Benfica and the Portuguese national team, burst on the international scene in the early 1960s and scored nine goals in the 1966 World Cup.
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Jeff Carlisle of Soccernet on Dallas's new monster mashin' forward Kenny Cooper.
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MLS week 5 games:
Salt Lake v Los Angeles - 3pm on ESPN2
DC v Dallas - 6:30 pm on Direct Kick (come on over to my place and watch it!)
Columbus v KC - 6:30pm on HDNet
Colorado v Houston - 8pm on Direct Kick
Chivas v New York - 9pm on Direct Kick
New England v Chicago - 2pm on Direct Kick
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The UEFA Cup Semifinal second leg matches are Tonight (with first leg scores included):
Middlesbrough v Steaua (0-1)
Sevilla v Schalke (0-0)
-The final will be May 10 in Eindhoven.
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FIFA has an article on the true characters of past World Cups, including our own Alexi "let's make the goals bigger" Lalas.
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Fernando Martin has quit as President of Real Madrid after less than 2 months on the job. That must be one sucky job right now. The clubs members will now embark on the task of electing a new El Presidente.
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WOW - Francesco Totti took the field last night for the Roma reserves. He plans to play for the first team before the Serie A season ends.
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La Copa Libertadores 2006 round of 16 starts immediately with some incredible matchups!! Here are the games & scores (all are two legged knockout games):
April 27 - Newell's Old Boys v Vélez Sarsfield
May 3 - Vélez Sarsfield v Newell's Old Boys
April 27 - Nacional v Internacional
May 3 - Internacional v Nacional
April 26 - River Plate 3-2 Corinthians
May 4 - Corinthians v River Plate
April 26 - Palmeiras 1-1 São Paulo FC
May 3 - São Paulo FC v Palmeiras
April 25 - Estudiantes LP 2-0 Goiás EC
May 4 - Goiás EC v Estudiantes LP
April 27 - Tigres UANL v Libertad
May 4 - Libertad v Tigres UANL
April 25 - Liga Dep. Universitaria Quito 4-0 Atlético Nacional
May 2 - Atlético Nacional v Liga Dep. Universitaria Quito
April 26 - Chivas Guadalajara 3-0 Independiente Santa Fe
May 2 - Independiente Santa Fe v Chivas Guadalajara
-Sports Illustrated with the Wednesday match recaps.


Anonymous cdin said...

I looked into your Claudio Reyna thing and I think you are a little off in your numbers. Claudio has indeed played in there last 3 matches but two of those games were losses for Man City.

According to their record for the last three seasons Man City does win more when Reyna pays but the precentage is slight in some cases.

In the 05/06 season Man city as won 42% with Reyna and 31% without. Drawing 11% with Reyna and 13% without.

In the 04/05 season Man city as won 35% with Reyna and 33% without. Drawing 35% with Reyna and 33% without.

In the 04/05 season Man city as won 32% with Reyna and 13% without. Drawing 32% with Reyna and 44% without.

8:55 AM  
Blogger brucio said...

fantastic work
thanks so much
i got the idea that they won the last three from an article at yanks abroad
good job on the correction
i guess its not nearly as dramatic a difference as my mind would make it seem
i am gonna repost this on my main page

10:28 AM  
Blogger Zathras said...

Who has a cooler name than Bruce?

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian Hall

1:24 PM  
Blogger brucio said...

yes brian hall
werner herzog

3:10 PM  

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